Dracula- meet cast member Kirk Lambert!
Tell us a little about yourself. I am a father, grandfather, and obviously an actor (at least that’s what the playbill says). As a military brat and later a Marine, I lived around the world which has provided me a wealth of experience upon which to draw when doing character development. I have always loved theater but participating in it was a challenge given the nomadic nature of being in the military.
What do you find appealing about this show? It is a literary classic, which means it presents a wonderful opportunity to be a part of a well-known work. The risk in doing so also is appealing because “any literary classic falls peril to cliché, misinterpretation, and parody” (Wade Bradford). We hope we are up to the challenge and avoid such risks.
How does Dracula differ from other shows you have worked on? It differs in that it deals with “things that go bump in the night”: blood-sucking vampires, bats, wolves, and vixens—not quite the ordinary fare. It truly falls upon the actors and production team to get the audience to suspend disbelief early and to then take the horrible ride with them.
What do you want the audience to experience when they come to see Dracula? I want them to cringe, sit on the edge of their seats, be afraid, laugh, and most of all be entertained.
Who is your favorite vampire and why? Morticia from The Addams Family. As a kid I had a crush on the Carolyn Jones version from the 1964 television series. I fell under her spell as did her husband Gomez, especially when she spoke French: ma belle fleur fanée. My other favorite is Gary Oldman from Bram Stoker’s Dracula. He conjures such evil demons, he is hypnotic, and he draws you in with his evil magnetism. He is such a worthy foe to Anthony Hopkins’ Van Helsing.
What made you get involved in theater? How did you get involved with LTA? Opera. My wife’s coworker was a supernumerary at the Washington National Opera and he invited me to audition. During the course of some 60 performances at the Kennedy Center and having a front row seat to some spectacular music and voices, I was bitten by the bug and knew unequivocally that I wanted to be an actor and on stage. At that point, I began training and spent five years studying the Meisner technique with the brilliant Robert Epstein.
I got involved with LTA when I auditioned for To Kill a Mockingbird, one of my favorite works. Although I made it to callbacks, the gifted Robert Heinly was cast in the role, but I was so impressed with the theater, the staff, and the other actors I met that I subsequently returned to audition again, eventually being cast in The Audience in 2018.
What advice would you give others who are interested in working in theater? Train, act, repeat. LTA offers a wide range of opportunities to train and to participate in all aspects of theater, both on stage, behind the scenes, and in the booth. I highly recommend just jumping in.